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LITTLE FATTY

[Pictures: David Straight]

We’ve taken some artistic licence with the name of this place. In English it’s called “Tasty Takeaway” which dates from when this really was some low-level takeout joint. But Chinese friends assure us the Mandarin sign in the window means Little Fatty: shenjian bao, pot-sticker buns native to Shanghai. We discovered them in Shanghai last year, came home obsessed and went looking for a local outlet.

We found them here. There’s barely an English menu and the staff are consistently bemused to see a white face, although they are very friendly. There is always Chinese television blaring in the corner – recently, we watched a talent show, entranced, while we ate. (You’ll be relieved to know that despite the bare-bones environs, the place has an “A” hygiene rating.)

Little Fatty has many things on the menu: most are pretty good – we’re quite fond of the curry beef noodle soup ($9). But you’re really here for shengjian, or more prosaically, “fried pork bun” ($4 for four). They are a bit bready rather than delicate, and they have pork and stock inside – to make them, they fill the raw bun mixture with chilled stock and pork, which is jelly-like. Then they’re fried in a big cast-iron wok, so that they’re steamed on top and crispy brown on the bottom. The genius is that as they’re fried, the stock melts so inside, there is a bit of hot soup on which you may or may not burn your mouth. Technically they’re for breakfast, but you can eat them at any time of day and we suggest you do. SFG

HOURS 11am to midnight, seven days.

ADDRESS 898 New North Road, Mount Albert.

OF NOTE Cash only – there’s an ASB cash machine across the road.

12 Comments

  1. jess wrote:

    Chinese noodle in new lynn is also great! cheap and an A rating! terrible decor, tv blaring hardly any english but yummy food!

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
  2. SFG wrote:

    That sounds fab! Where in New Lynn is it and what should we order?

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  3. Fiona wrote:

    Yes please Jess. As Westie dweller I too would love the street address! Apparently good Vietnamese on Delta Ave too? Anyone know?

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  4. Good to know for next time I’m in the neighbourhood, there’s not much more I love in this world than pork buns.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink
  5. ST wrote:

    Chinese Noodles is at 3138 Great Nth Road / New Lynn. Had the fried pork dumplings for lunch – $8 gets you 15. Very fresh dumplings, a light/thin dough and nicely seasoned filling. A more subtle version of Barilla’s dumplings, and dare I say it, better. More limited menu however, and didn’t spy any side dishes that could stand up to the French Beans from Barilla.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink
  6. SFG wrote:

    Better than Barilla! Big call. We’ll have to check it out. We like a limited menu – too many Chinese restaurants have long menus when in fact they do a few things well. Thanks all.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink
  7. Tim wrote:

    We went to ‘Little Fatty’ tonight and I am absolutely stuffed. The pork buns were amazing!
    Also, we went with a largish group (8 people) the staff were extremely lovely, and slightly overwhelmed at so many westerners in their shop.

    I would like to make a correction to your review though, the restaurant is is 898 New North rd (not Mt Albert rd).

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink
  8. SFG wrote:

    Great to hear Tim, and thanks for pointing out the error.

    Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink
  9. CC wrote:

    Kung Fu Noodle opposite Barilla also deserves a mention, they serve northern Chinese food which is rare in Auckland. The ‘kung fu’ noodles are stretched by hand- try the lamb and cumin. Delicious!

    Friday, April 13, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink
  10. SFG wrote:

    We’ve heard! Will be sure to check it out – thanks for the recommendation, and the advice on what to order. What else is good there?

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  11. Donna wrote:

    Vietnamese in New Lynn is Halong on Delta ave. Although they could do wih using more fresh herbs it is very satisfying and cheap. Wonton soup (best hangover cure ever) chicken and ginger on rice and spring rolls never fail to please.

    Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink
  12. SFG wrote:

    Thanks Donna, went to Halong a long time ago but must check it out again. Some good eating in those parts these days.

    Monday, July 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

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